Posts Tagged ‘Drunk’

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Madrid with work – the first trip since the whole, sad divorce thing. I had been worried that it was going to be awful – and in some ways, it was (the reality of being away from everyone, and the fact that that will be a reality for most of my week nights soon etc.), but in others, it was good to be immersed in work and have not one moment unaccounted for. To my delight, I was also there with Old Friend at Work (who has been by my side and an incredible friend through all this), Alison Steadman Playing a P.A. P.A, Eternally Optimistic Spanish Planner, Planner With the Aura of Jesus, The Smallest Media Planner in The World, Stereotype of a Northern Planner, and others.

We worked pretty hard by day, but at night we drank like absolute maniacs – until 3 in the morning (or in the case of Old Friend at Work; Planner With the Aura of Jesus, The Smallest Media Planner in the World, and Alison Steadman Playing a P.A P.A, through the night in a couple of cases) on most nights, even though we were to start a nine hour day again, at 9 (in a defiantly non-Madrid manner). On one of these occasions, Old Friend at Work got her purse nicked from the hotel bar (only to be met with the response from Reception of “At least they didn’t get your passport, that’s what they’re REALLY after”, which isn’t exactly a masterclass in Customer Service). On another, Planner With the Aura of Jesus and Alison Steadman Playing a P.A. P.A. sat up all night drinking in the hotel bar, then moved to her room (entirely innocently, my new situation prompts me to add, unnecessarily…) and finished off the mini-bar.

But it was on the third night that things got, as the phrase goes, “messy”. I didn’t particularly embarrass myself, I can say with some relief: yes, there was the usual over-enthusiasm about stuff (most notably, Shakespeare – but also some vague shit about strategic approaches, which had me suddenly behaving like St. Paul on the road to Damascus, and celebrating by bellowing “Yes! Yes! God! That’s BRILLIANT! YOU’RE BRILLIANT!” at some poor fucker), and probably a little bit too much swaying around and smiling broadly – but that was as bad as it got. So, when it came time for me to leave (a respectable 3.30am), I said a few goodbyes and made my move, only to be “confronted” (if I can use this word of a man of his Micky Rooney like stature) by The Smallest Media Planner in the World.

“Stay and have another drink!”

“I can’t, SMPITW, I’m already pissed and I’m knackered, so I’m going.”

“Stay. Have a drink with me.”

“I can’t. Really. Tomorrow.”

“Have a drink with me. As a friend of mine.”

“No, I’m going.”

What he said next rather diminished his most recent pronouncement of our friendship, for it was:

“Then fuck off, you cunt. Fuck off.”

Well, off I fucked and went back to my simply enormous room (enormous not because of some ludicrous status, but because I had been allocated a room for someone in a wheelchair – which I’m not – and as a result, the dimensions of the room had to allow for the turning circle of same), had a shower, put on my iPod speakers and fell asleep listening to “The Gathering”, as read by Miss Shaw.

It turns out the The Smallest Media Planner In The World hadn’t turned against me, but against humanity: for he had told a round score of people to fuck off later on that night, and had christened about half of them “cunts” as well. Turns out that when he gets sauced (and again, his stature is such that one might have thought a couple of bottles of beers could be dangerous), he becomes that famed, but rare animal The Bad Drunk. He had stuck with the gang long enough to move on with them at 4am to a Piano Bar, where he doled out the bulk of his insults, before having a quick nap and getting back to the hotel at 6am. I wouldn’t be such a turd as to remind him of his bad behaviour the next morning – I dread to imagine what people put up with from me when I have got myself absolutely twisted – so I met him cordially at the beginning of the final day’s session and asked him what time he had got in. He had (or feigned to have) no memory of having parted brass rags the previous night, and his answer to me was as one amazed:

“I don’t know. Late. But I feel fucking awful this morning. I woke up surrounded by Pringles, and with the towels all soaking wet in the shower.”

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A plan to meet up with Old Friend At Work didn’t work out – but thinking about her, and how long we have known each other, reminded me of one of the stranger evenings that we have had.

It was a dark, Winter night – and OFAW and I were rounding off an evening out (by which I mean: “an evening of drinking”) with a final bottle of Jadot at Oriel: the bar next to The Royal Court Theatre in South Kensington. In the grand tradition of our nights out. OFAW was utterly, utterly incapable of putting one foot in front of another as we finished the evening, and we emerged onto Sloane Square, clutching each other like a pair of pensioners on Blackpool sea-front in a gale. Walking in a straight line required the sort of concentration that is more readily associated with the final stages of brain surgery than the finale of a night out talking about everything under the sun and (inevitably with us two) shouting bits of Shakespeare at each other, and then crying. I staggered into the road to flag down a cab (pleasingly simple) and after a lot of hugging, cheek kissing and hanging onto me, amidst voluble protests of love, dispatched OFAW onto the floor (sadly – but she insisted) of the cab. 

As I turned from my task, I saw, recently emerged from The Royal Court Theatre (having been treated to that exuberant, drunken display) the Chief Executive of my Agency at the time: she nodded at me, and slipped into her waiting car…

The next morning, I was in work early: not feeling brilliant, but I know what needed to be done. The thing was, Wife worked at the same Agency as I did – and one of the few things that people knew about us (and that the Chief Executive was bound to know) was that two senior members of the Agency were married to each other – and I didn’t want the Chief Exec – who had never met Wife – to mistake the cackling, drunken and exuberant female of the previous night for my wife: thereby, potentially ruining her reputation before the two women even met.

So, I sent an e-mail to the boss saying: “Hi, I just wanted to drop a quick line to say that the rather over-refreshed woman you saw me put into a cab last night wasn’t my wife.” Immediately, an answer was fired back: “I completely understand.”

And so it was that word went round the Agency that the Chief Executive had happened upon me as I put my drunken mistress into a cab after a night of heavy drinking -and then had sent her an e-mail that asked her to help me maintain my deception… Perfect.

I think  I eventually managed to straighten things out with the Chief Executive: but I think she remained slightly confused about why on earth I kept updating her on the state of what she took to be my extra-marital relationships for most of my stay at that (otherwise) very staid agency.

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I cannot describe the joyousness of my Saturday night out in Clerkenwell with Best Friend, Talented Advertising Creative, Clever Monkey, Insanely Appropriate Monkey and Oh Yeah We Worked Together. The venue, the occasion, the pastime was “Underground Rebel Bingo” – as silly, fun, full throttle and brilliant a night out as I have had in a long time.

Wife was due to join us, but had had so many night out on the piss that (after a lunch out in High Road House, that began at 12.30pm, and finished at 6.45pm), she got home and passed out. Thank fuck that the babysitter was also in the house, or there could have been a lot of very hungry children… Anyway, she was suitably sheepish the next morning, whereas I was on a high of having had a fabulous night out with some wonderful friends.

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I love the saying “I got out of the wrong side of the bed”: it’s one of those phrases that has an almost cartoon-like quality, the suggestion that the sort of day one will have is arbitrary (but inevitable) in its direction, and all that it hinges on is which side of the bed one swung one’s legs out of: the premise that underpinned the ghastly “Sliding Doors” – the film that launched a thousand ill-considered haircuts…

Wife used the phrase yesterday to explain why she was in a filthy mood, but she used it with a smile on her face, and an utter realisation that she had no logical reason to be so furious.

I had spent the previous day in an absolutely foul mood, but that was entirely based on my ludicrous decision to slap tables, down red wine and demand Puccini until 2.30am. Nevertheless, to various people who were unfortunate enough to come across my path that morning (specifically Account Manager About Whom I Have Changed My Mind, who is in danger of a significant name-change, perhaps to “Account Manager Who Wants to Watch Her Fucking Step”), they might have wondered about my bedside exit strategy, because I was a little BEAST for the entire day. When I got home and Wife (who, let us not forget had had no more sleep, though rather less red wine than me, and was thus also exhausted) that I had to lug boxes out of the cellar and the attics in my diminished state, I came very close to bursting into tears. Or setting fire to something.

Wife dealt with her quandary rather more straightforwardly: she got into bed and shouted for me to perform every menial task she could thing of, including the memorable (and slap-worthy) “Could you turn my light on?” and “Could you change the DVD disc, please?”, but also stretching to issues of tea-preparation and delivery, and pedicure. All this served to interrupt the brilliant “Who Do You Think You Are?” on TV, featuring Boris Johnson who is as magnetically fascinating on TV as he is repellent in his political views, although I did like his book on the Roman Empire.

Concerned readers will be pleased to hear that Wife has risen from her bed this morning a paragon of loveliness and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.

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Although, apparently that should be “Sir Ben Kingsley”, as the pompous twat insists on being addressed… But that’s beside the point, the point is that last night, I turned INTO Ben Kingsley; not the lovable, stick-carrying incarnation of Gandhi, but the maniacal, expletive-shouting lunatic who makes such a worrying impression in “Sexy Beast”.

Good Friend in PR is here, you see – and after drinks in a bar, we went back to the friend’s house where he is currently billeted. And we drank, and we drank, and we drank – until 2.30am. On a Monday. This makes me a twat on any number of levels: most excitingly, on the level of a man who has to go to work the next day and doing anything other than sob, but I managed to supplement it with a couple of quite interesting versions of twattishness:-

  1. The twat who compares everything (unfavourably) to Shakespeare – the fact that everyone is used to this makes it no easier for anyone to tolerate.
  2. The twat who demands total iPod control and is not above ordering music in if it is missing (last night’s choice: “E Lucevan Le Stelle”, previous offences include Nina Simone and Kathryn Williams).
  3. The twat who slaps the table repeatedly, shouting “No! No! No!” like an unfortunate combination of the above mentioned theatrical knight and Amy Winehouse’s refrain in “Rehab”, as he shouts over everyone who’s trying to get a fucking word in.
  4. The twat who gets back to his Wife, who is understandably nervous as it’s 2.30 in the morning on a Monday, and her husband was “popping out for a couple of drinks”, not shouting his head off until the early hours of the morning, arming himself with a horrifying hangover.

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Ah! Corporate Hospitality – as fine an example of an oxymoron as one may find in all the loose-stooled sewer that is marketing speak! The pretense that, given the option, both parties would CHOOSE to be where they are, laughing at each other’s terrible jokes and re-telling stories so ancient that they have grown a rind on them.

Saturday saw me deep within the grip of such an activity – but with the, not entirely unexpected twist, that after a certain amount of Pimm’s, an aura of Corporate Hostility crept into the proceedings. Well-oiled partners decided that this, this, was the opportunity to inform their partner (a Client) that he was an unsatisfactory shag, that a big cock was all she was really after, and that he was lying and pretentious. Now, I can’t remember whether Miss Mitford deals with this in her tome “Noblesse Oblige” – I am certain that it isn’t covered in the volume that my splendidly Edwardian grandfather gave to me before I was ten years old: “Etiquette for Gentlemen” – so I dealt with it as best I could, and was rewarded with said lady’s hand inside my shirt APPARENTLY in search of a nipple: so that wasn’t ideal.

The only upside was that her husband was, by this stage, as pissed as she was. I knew this because he was earnestly enquiring of Fearless Leader (who has the sort of mien that could freeze vodka at ten paces) whether she had ever been fucked on the bonnet of a car… She handled it with the sort of froideur and composure that spoke of a father used to quelling native uprisings and a mother who was going to have none of that sort of nonsense, which was a joy to behold.

Anyway, as Wife pointed out when I returned home (somewhat Pimmsed, but still walking in a straight line and able to make it down stairs unaided), they obviously all had a pretty good time, and that was the point of the exercise – so it must be counted a success. 

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The sooner I realise that I am not to be trusted in professional company when the St. Joseph has been flowing for a couple of hours, the better.

On Friday Old Friend In Advertising, Account Manager That I Have Changed My Mind About, Distractingly Breasted TV Producer, Common Sense Creative and Silent But Approachable Creative were in the pub. It was all amicable and friendly and fun, and then someone started talking about how Planning and Creative should work together…

Maybe it was the fact that Champagne had entered the equation. Maybe it was the fact that I had been at work for 15 hours by this stage, but Roger came out to play, and took control of the session. I can’t imagine where it went, but I do remember a lot of people being placatory and calling me “Mate” (which I can’t stand: dogs mate, not me), so I must have been going fairly postal…

Anyway, my encounter with the above-mentioned on Monday was marked by a new level of interest and collaborative zeal – so either I actually made some sort of sense, or I threatened the use of weapons to make my strategic point more pointedly…

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